Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Murders and Numbers

2016 number of homicides (with any type of weapon, to include knives, hammers and axes) in the state of Alabama: 407

2016 number of homicides within the city of Birmingham and the county of Jefferson, Alabama: 151

2016 number of homicides within the city of Mobile, Alabama: 43

2016 number of homicides within Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 20

Yeah, More than half of the state's murders....came from one single county, and two urbanized cities.

2016 homicides in Utah?  A total of 90 for the entire state.  Of that, nine involved people shot by cops. 

One of the 90 Utah homicides, actually was a woman who ran off a road....killed by a tree impact....with a vehicle repossession guy attempting to retake her vehicle.

So, when you see some journalist or intellectual try to talk about guns, and banning of guns....then you need to ask more questions...dig deeper into the whole story. 

Have murders in Alabama really increased?  You can go back to 1960, and find that 406 people murdered. In 1964, we actually got down to 316 for the state.  Over the past seven years in Alabama?  We actually averaged around 300 per year. 

So, you get to the point of trying to write some script or law to remove automatic weapons.  If you go down the list....from the 4,000-odd people on the Alabama homicide list....you might have saved five or six.  If you'd banned knives?  It'd be way over one-hundred....maybe going to two-hundred. Seems like you go for knives first, if you were logical about this.

Science Beyond People

I often go and read through science reports, which lay out a lot of odd information.  Today, I went to a curious piece by Watts Up With That.  Their big article: hurricane forecasting and how the public can't read or grasp what the weather information is saying.

This University of Utah study went and looked at the normal methods.  Typically, there are summary displays which show the possible paths of a hurricane with a 'cone' and boundaries.   Most folks, as they found out....really can't read the path-business or understand the 'cone'.  If Joe the weather guy says that a hurricane is likely to hit their city or county....well, that's different.

For a lot of intellectual people walking around and thinking that the world is all tuned to their knowledge base, or even cares....the big shocker, most people don't really grasp graphic charts or fundamental information unless they get this on a daily basis.

When you see a pollen-chart come up every single day of the week for five years....you can assume that most people grasp that chart and what it means.  When you plot a tornado warning area...it's because they've seen this enough times....over and over....know that they are in a watch area or a warning area.  You can ask most folks to define this, and I'd take a guess that 98-percent of adults in the south can define the difference.

But hurricanes?  You so rarely see them.

Even if you explained this in detail....some folks have the idea that a category two hurricane is really not a big deal.

Lack of education?  No.  I'm of the belief that people retain only X-amount of information for things that they regularly worry about or the topic comes up at least once or twice a year.